I have known her for two or three years now. We are in the same recovery program so we have gotten to know each other fairly intimately because we have heard each other share many times. Also we have had a number of good conversations together. She is a well educated professional, has many friends, and deeply loves her children and grandchildren. She affectionate, funny and articulate. She is a woman whose ideas I have always respected.
An event that happened in the last month or so that has added wonderfully to my image of her. Here is what happened. A meeting we both attend was five minutes from closing. A woman was sharing. At that point, a man burst into our meeting room and shouted, “I have an announcement to make. You are not supposed to be using this room. I need to get started getting ready for the next meeting”.
The next meeting started in a little over an hour. There was no way the poor woman who had been intimately sharing could proceed with her sharing.
One woman who was holding a position in our meeting that gave her authority to act began trying to reason with the angry man. He responded to her by getting louder and ruder. One of the younger men in the room left to go to Starbucks to get coffee so could get control of himself. He told me later he left so he would not hit the man in the mouth.
After the meeting ended we all were thinking of ways to keep something that rude and disruptive from ever happening again. A lot of us were very concerned about the people attending their first program meeting that day. I am sure some of the very strong women that attend that particular meeting tried to help the newcomers understand and cope with this uncomfortable situation.
About ten minutes past. I had gone to the restroom and had I reentered the meeting room looking for a friend of mine because I wanted to ask her a question. However the women I was looking for had already gone home.
At that point I noticed the woman full of grace talking to the rude man. I stood far enough away from her so I couldn’t eavesdrop but close enough to be able to see her talking to the man. She listened to him talk in a loving and attentive way. Then she talked to him. She was smiling as she talked.
I stood there for ten minutes or so because I wanted to ask the woman full of grace, which restaurant some of us that go to lunch together were going for our meal and fellowship.
I could see the rude man and the gracious lady were going to be talking for awhile so I just left and went home. When I got home I spent a few minutes thinking about the picture of the man and my friend talking together. She was talking to him in a sweet, friendly and smiling manner. The man was much taller than her but it was clear that she was making her point.
I can still remember how the man looked. To me he seemed contrite, embarrassed, and had the look of a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
I was so impressed with how my friend conducted herself. The man had argued with those who had argued with him, yelled at those who had yelled at him, but he had no defense against my friend’s love and overwhelming grace.